3. Björklund's Way

Swedish Teachers as Mental Surgeons...Military-Style

by C.C.M.Warren M.A.(Oxon), Retired Professional Educator

When a government views children as mentally ill and teachers as the remedy for this illness, then you know that it is the government that is mentally ill, or at the very least those in the government who say such things. Unbelievable? Sadly, it is true. Swedish Education Minister Jan Björklund believes this:

    "- Ingen vill bli opererad av en obehörig läkare. Elever bör inte undervisas av lärare utan utbildning. Det säger utbildningsminister Jan Björklund om förslaget Den nya skollagen - för kunskap, valfrihet och trygghet, som i dag har överlämnats till Lagrådet." (Government website)

Translated into English:

    "No one wants to be operated on by an unauthorised doctor. Pupils should not be educated by unqualifed teachers. So says Education Minister Jan Björklund on the proposed new School law for Knowledge, Freedom of Choice and Safety, which today has been submitted to the Law Advisory Council."

Children are here compared by the Education Minister to those who need a surgical operation, or who at the very least are suffering from deprivation that needs urgent remedial action by government-approved 'professionals'. They are viewed by the government as empty bags that need filling. And, according to the proposed new law, they shall only be filled by state-authorised 'packers'. And who will authorise them? Those who have already clearly demonstrated the failure that the state educational school system is.

Would you trust a political doctrine that views children in this way? Doesn't this remind one of the already failed and rightly condemned bloody social experiments of communism and fascism? I absolutely do not trust a government that can spout trash such as this! As a retired professional teacher myself, I view my job as being to teach children how to think for themselves by letting them compare different views of life and weighing the evidence for themselves. Clearly the current Swedish government does not believe children can think for themselves, and by logical extension, neither do they believe adults can either! Their aim is clearly to indoctrinate children to think in one way by educating teachers to fill their poor little sick brains with what they 'need'.

Children are not sick - they are creative geniuses and need to be allowed to explore for themselves. They do not need pre-packaging like some commercial product by pre-packaged teachers. As my Irish ancestors would have said: "Saints preserve us!"

Fortunately, the Swedish public (or specifically, the Press) is beginning to wake up. In one of Sweden's national daily newspapers, Expressen (Wednesday 16 December 2009), page 2, the leading article is titled: "Det svänger inte, ministern", Education Minister Jan Björklund is strongly criticised for his attitude towards state school teachers who are to be even more regulated than before [loose English translation here]. The printed version is even more critical of him and includes this caption:

Translated this reads:

    "What kind of education has Björklund received, then? An (army) officer's. Try to then picture him as being suitable to be in charge of schooling for the whole of Sweden."

Jan Björklund began his military career in 1981 when he joined the Älvsborg Regiment stationed at Borås and became fänrik in 1982. In 1985 he sat the officers' examination in the Halland Regiment. From 1985 to 1986 he took an officers' course at the Military High School in Karlberg and became a leutenant. Thereafter he joined the Horse Life Guards where he became head of the beredskapsplutonen. In 1988 he sat the War High School examination, was commissioned as a Captain and transferred to the Svea Life Guards. He then returned to the Military High School in Karlberg, and became a Major. He left full time army service in 1994 to enter politics but is still active in the military reserve. He is described as "hard and domineering" (from Wikipedia Jan Björklund) and was also described as "the government's Rambo" in Afghanistan (Rejeringens Rambo till Afghanistan). He supported US President Bush's war in Iraq.

No wonder Björklund doesn't want to talk with homeschooling representatives and no wonder he has upset the teaching profession (see also Aftonbladet, Man tapper förtroende för Björklund and Dagens Skola). No wonder he doesn't think parents are capable of properly educating their own children even though all the research work done on homeschooling proves him wrong. It seems that Björklund wants to run the state schooling system like the army...and 'obviously' homeschooling then becomes a wholly alien concept to him, for how can you regiment something like that? Perhaps this explains not only the Education Minister's psychology but the whole Rambo-like philosophy behind the new proposed Education Law. Distinguished a serviceman though he may be (and he's just what the Swedish Army needs), one wonders what he is doing meddling in education where his only experience is in a militaristic environment? He may be an excellent organiser - he is described by those who know him as very energetic - but I have to in all honesty wonder if he is qualified to deal with modern education in a liberal society. Schools are not military camps though no doubt some people might like that, particularly those of a totalitarian mindset. But militarism of any kind should have no place in democratic Sweden, and certainly not in the education of our children. Clearly something needs to be done quickly before this proposed new education law is blitzkrieged into existence in the spring and Sweden finds its educational system leaning towards something that smacks of militarism that Swedes really do not want and have stood up against for decades. If you're as upset about this as I am, as many fellow teachers are too, please contact your national and local newspapers, write to the Swedish Government, and support Rohus (see their commentary in Swedish here).

The only régimes that have

total state-control of education

are totalitarian ones like

communist and fascist states

Copyright © 2009-2010 C.C.M.Warren, M.A.(Oxon) - All Rights Reserved

Last updated on 5 December 2010